Strange But True

Strange But True

  • Inexpressibles

    The name given to the tight trousers worn by some Regency gentlemen, such as the notorious Beau Brummell and his ‘dandy’ followers,  as they showed off their leg muscles.

  • What did Victoria do first

    after her coronation in 1837?  Have a parliamentary meeting?  Have tea with all the royal dignitaries?  No – she gave her dog, Dash, a bath.

     

  • Now that’s what we call a cake!

    Victoria and Albert’s wedding cake was a colossal 9 feet wide and weighed 300 pounds.

     

  • Victorian ladies’ knickers had no middle

    Once they got all those big dresses on, they couldn’t reach their knickers to pull them down, so they could stand over a potty to wee with these on instead.

     

  • Would you wee in your dining room?

    Victorian gentlemen did! Some dining rooms (like ours) had a special cupboard to house a chamber pot so all the gentlemen could go for a wee without leaving the table (once the ladies had left the room, of course!).

     

  • The last ducking stool to be used in England

    (in 1809) can still be seen not far from us in the Priory Church, Leominster, Herefordshire. It’s huge.

     

Handy Hints

Handy Hints

  • An insect trap

    Scoop out the inside of a turnip, scallop the edges, and place it downward in the earth. The insects will pass into it as a place of retreat through the holes, and the cucumbers, squashes, melons etc., may soon be clear of them.  1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Anti-magnetic properties of the onion

    The magnetic power of a compass needle, will be entirely discharged or changed by being touched with the juice of an onion.

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • To clean gilt buckles, chains &c.

    Dip a soft brush in water, rub a little soap on it, and brush the article for a minute or two, then wash it clean, wipe it, and place it near the fire till dry, then brush it with burnt bread finely powdered. 1823

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • To remove grease from books

    Lay upon the spoon a little magnesium or powdered chalk, and under it the same; set on it a warm flat iron, and as soon as the grease is melted, it will be all absorbed, and leave the paper clean. 1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Antidote against mice

    Gather wild mint, put it where you wish to keep them out, and they will not trouble you. 1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Keeping your kettle clean

    To prevent teakettles coating with lime – put the shell of an oyster in the teakettle and the lime will adhere to it, instead of coating the sides. 1852

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

Marble games

Marble games

Marbles have been used to play games for thousands of years. The first ones were made of clay, stone or real marble. The Victorians loved to play marbles – their favourite marbles were made of real marble and were thought to be the best for shooting, but they were very expensive. Marbles made of glass were cheaper and for the people with very little money, ones made of clay. The Judge’s Lodging has sets made of glass and clay on display.

Shooting
In some games with marbles you throw your marble, but most games use shooting. To shoot properly takes some practice but is done like this – put the knuckle of your forefinger on the ground with the marble balanced in the bent forefinger. Put your thumb behind the forefinger and then release with whatever force you like. Too hard? Well, you could always flick it instead.

Marble Games for you to Play
ConquerorThe first player throws forward a marble to wherever he chooses (usually people throw it to about where they think they could hit it). The next player then shoots at this marble. If he hits it, he captures it and he picks it up and the one he shot with. He then throws out another marble to start the game again. If he misses it, however, he has to leave his marble where it is. The next player then shoots at either marble, capturing whatever he hits, but leaving his marble where it is if he misses. This game can carry on until one player has all the marbles.
Hint – if you shoot your marble with force, it may bounce off more than one marble – then you capture all that you have hit.

Bouncers
For this game you throw marbles, not shoot them. You use bigger marbles which are called bouncers. The first player throws his bouncer forward about five feet. The second player throws his to try and hit it. The third player throws his to hit either of them, and so on. If a bouncer is hit, the owner must pay the thrower one marble. Bouncer marbles themselves are not given up in payment.

Hundreds
A game for two players. Draw a circle a few feet away from you. Both players shoot a marble towards the circle. If both or neither marble stops in the circle, then both players must shoot again. When only one player’s marble stops in the circle, that player scores 10 points and has another go. He keeps on shooting until he misses the circle. Every time his marble lands in the circle he gets another 10 points. When he misses, the turn passes to the other player. The first player to reach 100 points is the winner.

Odd or even
One player closes in his hand a certain number of marbles. He asks his opponent whether it is an odd or even number. When he guesses correctly he receives one of the marbles, when incorrectly he has to give one. He then takes a handful of marbles and asks, in his turn, ‘odd or even?’ The game goes on alternately, at pleasure, or till one wins all the marbles.

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